Why You Should Get Fit

(It’s Not About Your Appearance)

Sep 17, 2023   |   Productivity

“A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.”

— Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength

You won’t be the next Taylor Swift, and you won’t be the next quarterback of the Packers.

But you’ve probably dreamed about it. Standing under the bright lights as a crowd screams the bridge of a song you wrote. Or launching a last-second touchdown pass into the endzone to win the Super Bowl.

At some point, we’ve all dreamed about it. But there’s a very good chance you and I will never achieve that success. There can only be so many superstars and hall of famers.

Unless you’re that one sad guy from high school who keeps reliving the past, those dreams slowly fade away as the realities of life set in.

But there’s one dream we can achieve if we just work at it.

Being really fit.

You’ve Always Wanted to Be Fit

If we’re being honest, we’ve always looked at the buff guy in a movie or the marathon runners we pass on the side of the road and wished we were in their shoes.

They seem so tough, so disciplined, so fit.

Unlike uncertain or unrealistic dreams, there is a very real and straightforward way to get fit. If your dream is to be an entrepreneur, you can work for months or years at it and never achieve anything. Regardless of the books you read and the system you follow, there are so many variables that can affect your success. If luck goes the wrong way, your business will fail.

On the other hand, if your dream is to be jacked, you will be jacked if you work at it consistently over a long time. There isn’t much luck involved.

Choose a well-researched plan, and follow it diligently for a long time. That’s it.

And once you start seeing progress, the whole world opens up. The most significant benefit to becoming fit isn’t the decrease in your waistline or the increase in your bicep. It’s the mindset that you gain.

Doing Hard Things

Yes, there are plenty of benefits to exercise. It can improve your mood, attractiveness, lifespan, energy levels, and so much more. But that’s not the most significant benefit I’ve seen.

I have a long way to go until I would describe myself as fit, but I’m much more in shape than I was a year ago. I went from only being able to run a couple of minutes every now and then to regularly running 12 miles a week. The weights I lift at the gym have roughly doubled during that same period.

The biggest benefit I’ve observed is an increased belief in myself. That I can do hard things and that hard things pay off.

The psychological benefit of achieving a dream you’ve always had can’t be understated. It’s a crazy feeling to look at yourself in the mirror and realize you are accomplishing something you avoided for most of your life. You could barely run for 30 seconds before, and now you’re running for miles without much trouble.

It makes all your other dreams feel more realistic. You start trying other new things. You make decisions you were too afraid to make before. Somehow, the physical fitness you achieve pours over into the other areas of your life.

Your identity changes.

As James Clear says: “Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become.” Every time you step onto the track or into the gym, you vote that you’re a disciplined person.

Over time, you become someone who can do hard things:

“The more hard things you push yourself to do, the more competent you will see yourself to be. If you can run marathons or throw double your body weight over your head, the sleep deprivation from a newborn is only a mild irritant.”

— Nat Eliason, Proof You Can Do Hard Things

Getting fit is hard. It requires intense effort, and so much more than the average person puts into their health.

It isn’t fun leaving a party early because you have to be at the gym by six the next morning. It isn’t fun standing at your fridge at 10 PM stuffing your face with Greek yogurt because you haven’t hit your protein goal. And it certainly isn’t fun to feel wholly exhausted a mile into your run, knowing you have four more until your suffering ends.

It’s hard. But that’s what makes the reward so rewarding. You chose to do something so many people will never attempt, and you pushed through it.

If you can achieve this, what else can you do?